Guest Review: Stone Cold Heart by Laura Griffin

Posted April 25, 2019 by Jen in Reviews | 5 Comments

Guest Review: Stone Cold Heart by Laura GriffinReviewer: Jen
Stone Cold Heart by Laura Griffin
Series: Tracers #13
Also in this series: Deep Dark
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: March 26, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

When local rock climbers stumble upon abandoned human bones in a remote Texas gorge, Sara Lockhart is the first to get the call. She has a reputation as one of the nation’s top forensic anthropologists, and police detective Nolan Hess knows she is just the expert he needs to help unravel this case. Although evidence is scarce, Nolan suspects the bones belong to a teenage climber who vanished last summer.

But as Sara unearths strange clues, she finds chilling similarities to a case from her past—a case that now threatens to rock Nolan’s community. While Sara digs deep for answers, the stakes rise higher as another young woman disappears without a trace. Investigators work against the clock as Sara races to discover the truth, even if her harrowing search brings her face to face with a stone-cold killer.

In the latest Tracers book from Laura Griffin, we’re back following a Delphi Center employee. This time it’s Sara Lockhart, a forensic anthropologist.

There’s not much to say about the plot of the book that isn’t in the cover copy or that doesn’t spoil some of the mystery. This is a much more twisty, turny mystery than some of the other Tracers books, and I enjoyed that about it. Sara’s expertise and instincts are invaluable to uncovering the extent of the crimes and piecing together who might have done it. It’s a fun ride, but not necessarily a solution you can “guess” (or maybe I’m just not clever enough, haha). I love the nerdy investigation details that Griffin uses in this series, and Sara is a prime example of that.

The romance between Nolan and Sara is a fine little love affair, though not exactly a passion for the ages. Sara is pretty reticent to get involved with Nolan because of a bad past relationship. It’s a bit cliche and does perhaps go on too long, but I did appreciate that she wasn’t whiny or angsty about it. She just wants to focus on her career and not get distracted by a relationship. I like that she’s confident and smart and happy with that. Nolan is fine, too. Pretty stereotypical cop character, although he does totally respect Sara’s expertise and autonomy which is always good to see. There’s no getting around that their relationship is a bit of a slow burn, and I felt like they don’t get much past the beginning embers in this book. I have hope for them in the future, though!

I enjoyed this book and am always happy when we veer back into the smart science nerds at the Delphi Center. I think it would be a fun read for Tracers fans, and even readers new to the series should be able to pick up this book with no trouble.

Grade: 3.5 out of 4



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5 responses to “Guest Review: Stone Cold Heart by Laura Griffin

  1. Willa

    Have this in the TBR pile, looking forward to getting a Delphi centric book again. Will let you know – maybe we will agree? 😀

      • Willa

        O.K Jen – have finished it . . and it is NOT going to be the end of times! Hahaha. I would give it a 2.0 star rating.

        The relationship was bland, bland, bland and when they declared their undying love at the end I rolled my eyes as I didn’t feel it – at all!

        I thought Sara was sooo unprofessional at times. They have uncovered multiple skeletons and does Sara rush back to the Delphi Centre to work on them – hell no, she volunteers to help Nolan investigate an outstanding missing person enquiry. And he let’s her! With no experience or training as a cop she goes and interviews people. She didn’t study the case files to see what these people had said before – she just marches off and asks whatever comes into her mind! Crazy! All this was done to keep Nolan and Sara together on the page but the better way would be just to have had the 2 of them live closer to each other in the first place!

        Sara needs gas, the red light is on in her vehicle – then she spots a vehicle they have been looking for and races off after it with NO GAS, not knowing how far they are going to go or where. She rings Nolan and he tells her to back off and leave it, back off, back off – and what does she do? She hangs up on him. She soon gets into trouble and is left in a ditch! Surprise! TSTL.

        Then at the end she wanders off on her own to look for the killers lair and runs into the killer. Surprise! TSTL. And our capable, professional, smart (?) heroine has to be rescued – by a poor woman that the killer has kidnapped, raped, beaten, starved and abused! I cheered Grace on for her strength and fortitude and wanted to leave Sara tied up in the dirt for her stupidity.

        For me it is disappointing because one of the reasons I love Griffins work is that she is not sloppy, her characters are professional, the romances are strong and the suspense is just that – suspenseful, without tripping into TSTL territory. This one just felt lazy – and I know Griffin knows how to write better than this.

        • Jen

          I can see your point about Sara though I didn’t really think about it while I was reading it. She is involved in the investigation side of the business so to me it didn’t seem totally outrageous for her to tag along, but in hindsight that is probably just my selective reading. I just liked her so I was willing to overlook some of that stuff.

          At least the world will still keep turning Willa! 🙂

  2. Kareni

    I too have this book waiting for a moment (or more) of my attention. Thanks for the reminder, Jen.

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